Taajush Shariah Mufti Mohammed Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari al-Qaadiri, son of Hadrat Maulana Ibrahim Raza Khan (Radi Allahu anhu), son of Hujjatul Islam, Hadrat Maulana Haamid Raza Khan (Radi Allahu anhu), son of Imam-e-Ahle Sunnah, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radi Allahu anhu) was born on the 25th of Safar 1942, in the District of Saudagraan, Bareilly, India.
His mother, who is the blessed and pious daughter of Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind (Radi Allahu anhu), showed great concern for his study. Hadrat Akhtar Raza Khan gained his basic Islamic education within his home and he completed the basic recitation and study of Holy Quran under the guidance of his respected mother and father.
Having completed his basic studies at home, Hadrat Maulana Ibrahim Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) enrolled him in Darul Uloom Manzare Islam in Bareilly. Here, under the guidance of renowned teachers, he studied many books, commencing with the basics such as, Mizaan, Munshaib, Nohmeer and proceeding to much more advanced books such as Hidaya Akhirain, etc.
Education at the Al Azhar University
In 1963, at the age 21, he was sent to Cairo, Egypt to study at the famous Al Azhar University. He studied Tafseer of the Holy Quran and Ahadith for 3 years at this University.
He achieved the distinction of being one of the best foreign students to have studied at Al Azhar University. Upon graduating from the Al Azhar University, Hadrat Allama Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari was awarded the Jamia Azhar Award by Colonel Jamaal Abdul Nassir. He was also presented with a Certificate of Merit in the field of Ahadith.
Blessed With Khilafah
When he reached the age of 20, he was blessed with Khilafah by Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind (Radi Allahu anhu). He also received Khilafah from Hadrat Maulana Hassan Mia Barakaati (r). He also received Khilafah from Maulana Sayyid Aala Mustapha and Maulana Burhanul Haq Razvi. Even while he was still a student, Hadrat Maulana Ibrahim Raza (radi Allahu anhu), issued a statement in which he made his son, Hadrat Allama Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari, as his spiritual Successor.
Taajush Shariah married the daughter of Maulana Hasnain Raza Khan on Tuesday, the 3rd of November 1968, in Bareilly. He was blessed with a son and five daughters.
He received his education under the supervision of many distinguished teachers that include the following.
As A Teacher
In 1967, at the age of 25, he was appointed as Lecturer at Darul Uloom Manzare Islam. In 1968, he became Principal of this school. He was also appointed as the Head Mufti of the Institute. The service continued for the next 12 years.
In 1988, he taught Sahih Bukhaari Shareef at Jamia Amjadia, Karachi. Later in that year, he also taught Shaya Waqqaya (a famous book on Islamic Jurisprudence) to students at the Al Jamiatul Qadria.
Hadrat Maulana Mufti Mohammed Akhtar Raza Khan also has an excellent command of the English language.
The Issuing Of Fatawa (Legal Islamic Rulings)
This service to humanity has always been a feature of the family of Ala Hadrat. If we examine the detail, we will gain an insight as to the lengthy period in which this service was upheld by this August Family.
One can see by the above that this service has been offered to the world community for the past 163 years. Continuing in this vein, Tajush Sharia continues to answer questions pertaining to various issues relating to Islam and the world. He has continued this since when he was only 17 years old and under the spiritual guidance of Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind (radi Allahu anhu) and Maulana Muhammad Afzal Hussain Razvi. Due to the tremendous work load and inquiries received from all parts of the world, many other Islamic scholars work under the direct supervision of Taajush Shariah to fulfill this great need. For the past 30 years, he has continued this task and his Islamic verdicts are recognized and accepted throughout the world. The Islamic verdicts issued by Taajush Shariah to date stands at nearly 5 000.
In September 1983, he performed his first Hajj and in 1986, he performed his second Hajj. He is also been blessed with performing many Umrah.
Arrested by The Saudi Government
On the 13th of September 1986, a massive protest occurred against the Saudi regime in Bombay. The reason for this was that thousands of Muslims were informed that Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
This protest was held under the leadership of Sheikh-ul-Hadith, Hadrat Allama Zia-ul-Mustapha Al Qaderi Amjadi. Nearly 50 000 people took part in this procession which included many Imams, Ulama and renowned Islamic leaders. The protesters displayed great anger and showered much scorn on the Saudi Government. As a result of this protest and others which took place, he was finally released by the Saudi mischief makers.
Upon arrival in India, he gave a personal account of what had happened to him in Saudi Arabia and spoke about how he was deprived of visiting Medina Shareef. His personal account is as follows.
QUOTE - On the evening of the 31st of August 1986, at approximately 3 0'clock, a C.I.D. accompanied by uniformed police officers arrived at my hotel room and without warning searched for my passport. They then demanded to search my luggage. I requested my wife who was in Purdah to go into the bathroom. A revolver was then pointed at me and I was asked not to move. They began searching my luggage. I had in possession at that moment, a few books presented to me by Maulana Sayed Alawi Maliki and a few books of Ala Hadrat. I also had a copy of the Dalaa'ilul Khairaat Shareef. They confiscated these books and demanded a diary which I did not possess. They then confiscated our passports and tickets.
The same night I was questioned on various issues. The first question pertained to where I had performed the Jummah Salaah. I replied that I was a traveler and that Jummah Salaah was not Fardh upon me, I therefore had performed Zohr in my house.
They asked me if I had ever read Salaah in the Haram Shareef. I replied that since I was staying a distance from the Haram, I only went there to perform the Tawaaf.
They then questioned me on the books of Maulana Sayed Alawi Maliki and as to how I had received them. I told them that the great Scholar had presented them to me a few days ago when I went to visit him.
After looking through a few books of Ala Hadrat, which pertained to the reading of Naath and various laws of Hajj, they questioned me about my relationship to Ala Hadrat. I told them that he was my paternal grandfather.
At the end of this session in which the entire night had passed, they then placed me in a cell at the time of Fajr Salaah.
The same day at about 10 0'clock, I was again questioned by the C.I.D. about the various sects found in India. I explained that among the various sects were the Shi'a and the Qadianis. I also pointed out to him that Ala Hadrat had opposed the Qadiani sect and various other corrupt sects and in opposing them he had written many books.
I then revealed to him that there is a trend to call us Bareilwis. By this, one conceives a notion that the Bareilwis are a new sect. I revealed that this was not so and that in reality we were really the true Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah. I explained that Ala Hadrat did not lay the foundation of a new sect. His teachings were based on the religion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), the Sahaba, the Tabi'een and the pious people of the past and that we preferred being called the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah.
I then explained to him the difference between the Sunni and the heretic Wahabi. I explained that the Wahabi disbelieves that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) possesses Knowledge of the Unseen (as given to him by the Almighty), they do not believe that he will intercede for the creation and they consider it Shirk to ask the Holy Prophet (SAWS) or any Awliya Allah for assistance.
I then explained that we Sunnis believe that the Prophet (SAWS) will intercede and that it is permissible to call to him and to believe in him as a Mediator. We believe that he hears our speech by Allah's Grace and he certainly possesses the Knowledge of the Unseen by the Grace of the Almighty.
I then proceeded to present many Quranic proofs and various authentic sources substantiating the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah.
On the second day, he presented a typed report of a statement which read, ' I Akhtar Raza, the son of Ibrahim Raza is a follower of the Bareilly religion.' I furiously objected to this and again reminded him that Bareilly is not a religion and if there was such a new religion then I was certainly not part and parcel of it.
Further on, he had written: I am a follower of Imam Ahmed Raza. Our belief is that we accept the Prophet (SAWS) mediation, help, and we further believe that to call for his assistance is permissible. We believe that the Prophet possesses the Knowledge of the Unseen even though the Wahabis refers to such acts as Shirk. It is for this reason that I do not perform Salaah behind them.
Thereafter, in various different methods, I was asked basically the same question. I was questioned about the journey to London and asked whether I had attended any conference there. I mentioned that a conference is held on the command of the Government and on the height of politics. I told him that we are neither politicians, nor do we have contact with any Government. The main theme of the conference was the unity of the Muslims and the issue of Muslim Personal Law. The entire cost of this Conference was borne by the Sunni Muslims of London. I mentioned that a request was presented at the Conference whereby it would be possible for a Sunni to be nominated in the Muslim World as the Nadwis are given unfair advantage. I further mentioned that this resolution was unanimously accepted and the law passed.
At that moment, one of the senior CID Officer approached me and uttered, 'I must admit that I respect you for your age and knowledge, and perhaps in better circumstances I would have requested you to make Dua for me.' When I questioned him about the reason I was arrested, he did not reply adequately but merely mentioned that, it was he who had requested the police to remove my handcuffs.
They deliberately delayed my release without prosecuting me, and in the process deprived me from visiting Madinah Shareef. After 11 days. I was transported to Jeddah in handcuffs till until we reached the airport. They did not even allow me to perform the Zohr Salaah on the journey and I had to make this Salaah Qazah. UNQUOTE
Saudi Government Issues Special Visa
We have seen that the illegitimate Saudi Government had arrested Hadrat without any reasons. He was imprisoned for 11 days and the punishment was that he was not even allowed to visit Madinah Shareef.
It is due to this tyrannical behavior that thousands of Sunni Muslims throughout the world felt enraged and hurt. It gave birth to many protest marches and numerous news agencies had a field day reporting the incident.
At the end of this sacrifice, King Fahad had to grudgingly make the following statement:
"MUSLIMS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE WILL BE ALLOWED TO MAKE IBAADAH ON THEIR WAY IN SAUDI ARABIA"
This demonstration continued and the World Islamic Mission representatives in London severely replied to King Fahad and his brother, Turki ibn Abdul Aziz, concerning the controversial Wahabi beliefs. Hadrat Allama Arshadul Qadri also presented a memorandum in Arabic to the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia.
With the result, that on the 21st of May 1987, Hadrat received a call from the Saudi Embassy in Delhi with the following message.
"The Government of Saudi Arabia has decided to present you with a special Visa so that you may perform the Umrah and may visit Medina Shareef. This special visa is valid for one month."
On the 27th of May 1987, when Taajush Shariah arrived to perform these duties, he was met by a Saudi Ambassador was shown great courtesy and respect. After 16 days he returned to India and was warmly welcomed by a huge crowd both the Delhi and Bombay stations.
Islamic Institutes Under His Supervision
Many foreign institutes, besides those in India, are working under the guidance of Hadrat. A few are listed below:
He is also the President of (i) All India Jamiatul Ulema, (ii) President of the Shariah Board, (iii) President of the U.P. Muslim Personal Law Council
Due to his travel and vast number of programmes with in India and other countries, he has very little time for writing. Fatawa are put aside for his attention and they are mostly answered while he is on a journey.
The following is a list of books, he has written and compiled or edited:
His composition of Naath Shareef is found in a book entitled 'Safina Bakhshish', which he written in three different languages. (This book is available in Durban). The first of these were written while he was only 19 years old.
Almighty Allah has blessed him with exceptionally good qualities. His actions display his immense love for the Sunnah of the Beloved Prophet (SAWS). One needs to be in his company to witness this.
He shows great respect for the Ulama and always gives them preference over others. He respects the Sayeds, (Family of the Holy Prophet - SAWS) in a manner as a slave respects his King. He always makes Sayeds sit close to him, even if they are Ulama present. If a Sayed sat on the floor and he became aware of it, he would immediately sit on the floor very afraid of showing disrespect.
His entire life has been spent making Jihad against the enemies of Islam such as the Deobandis, Wahabis, Maududis, Ibn Taimiyya, Qadianism, or Najdism. He has always propagated the truth found in the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah. And with his advice, he has helped protect the Imaan of not only the Muslims of India, but of Muslims throughout the world.
He has confronted the enemies of Islam throughout his writings and his actions. He has done everything in his capacity to challenge the enemies of Islam. He has always paid special concern to those Sunnis who he felt were being misled and always made it his duty to show them the true path of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah.